Retrial leads to acquittal in 2008 Springfield slaying
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Massachusetts man who said he was wrongly convicted of a 2008 killing has been acquitted at a second trial.
Supporters of Charles Wilhite cheered when the verdict was announced Thursday in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield.
Wilhite was granted a new trial last year after a key prosecution witness recanted his identification of Wilhite as the shooter of Alberto Rodriguez outside a market. The new jury deliberated about four hours before finding Wilhite not guilty.
In 2010, Wilhite and co-defendant Angel Hernandez, who owned the market, were convicted of first-degree murder. Wilhite insisted he was innocent. Nathan Perez later testified he was pressured into identifying Wilhite as the shooter by a Springfield police detective and an assistant district attorney. Both denied that.
Prosecutors alleged Hernandez had a feud with Rodriguez and paid Wilhite to shoot him.